Baghdad: A wave of apparently coordinated bombing and shooting attacks in six different provinces across Iraq killed at least 37 people and wounded more than 150 on Thursday, security officials said.
It was the deadliest day in Iraq since March 20, when shootings and bombings claimed by al Qaeda front group the Islamic State of Iraq killed 50 people and wounded 255 nationwide.
The attacks, which come amid heightened political tension, drew an accusation from the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc that security measures were insufficient, and that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, as head of the armed forces, was responsible for the deficiency.
Twenty-two civilians, 10 police, three members of an anti-Qaeda militia and two soldiers were killed in dozens of attacks, including 14 separate car bombings, 13 other bomb attacks and three suicide bombings.
Bombings in and around Baghdad killed at least 17 people and wounded 97, an interior ministry official said.
A car bomb, targeting Health Minister Majid Hamed Amin`s convoy in Haifa Street in the heart of the capital, killed two civilians and wounded nine people, including four of the minister`s guards.
Four more car bombs and a roadside bomb in Baghdad killed nine people and wounded 53.
In Taji, north of the capital, two roadside bombs, two car bombs and a suicide bombing killed six people and wounded 29, and a suicide bomber in Tarmiyah, also north of Baghdad, blew up a vehicle by an army base, killing one soldier and wounding six.
In northern Iraq, bombings in Kirkuk province killed nine
people and wounded 24, high-ranking police officers said.
A car bomb against the convoy of police Brigadier General Taha Salaheddin south of Kirkuk city killed two police and wounded 15 other people.
Another car bomb in the city centre killed two police and wounded three, a high-ranking police officer said on condition of anonymity.
Six bombs against houses in the town of Malha, 40 kilometres northwest of Kirkuk, killed five people including an army major and wounded six, police Brigadier General Sarhad Qader said.
And in Ramadi in Anbar province, west of the capital, two car bombs against police patrols killed one person and wounded nine, a police source said.
In Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the home of police First Lieutenant Mohammed al-Tamimi, killing him and wounding four family members, an Iraqi army lieutenant colonel and Dr Ahmed Ibrahim of Baquba General Hospital said.
A suicide car bomb against a police checkpoint in the city centre killed two policemen and wounded two others.
Another policeman was killed by a magnetic "sticky bomb" in Baquba, and gunmen attacked a police station west of the city, killing one policeman and wounding two others, a police major in Diyala and the medic said.
The army lieutenat colonel said another policeman was killed by gunmen in the town of Al-Mansuriyah north of Baquba, while a bomb against a home in the town wounded three people, and a bomb targeting a home in Ghalbiyah, west of Baquba, wounded three more.
In Samarra, in Salaheddin province, two car bombs exploded near checkpoints of anti-Qaeda militiamen, killing three people and wounding six, militia commander Majid Abdullah and a police lieutenant colonel said.
And a worker at the oil refinery in Baiji in Salaheddin was wounded by militants firing rocket-propelled grenades, a police source said. In the main northern city of Mosul, capital of Nineveh province, a bomb in a restaurant wounded three people, a police captain said.